Create a wood bookmark with this faux marquetry effect in a geometric design!
When the weather is cold and rainy, there is nothing better than curling up on the sofa under a blanket, with a cup of tea and a good book. But I have to make a confession; I’m a page folder. Yep, at some point in my life stopped using proper bookmarks (possibly after losing one too many) and began to fold over the corner of the page. After a couple of friends recoiled in horror at learning this, I started looking for DIY bookmark ideas. This search somehow merged with looking at marquetry, the technique of using wood veneer inlaid to create patterns. There are some amazing designers making contemporary marquetry, check out my Pinterest board!
I’m using adhesive backed thin wood veneer sheets, yep, real wood! The wood seems to grip the book pages, so the bookmark doesn’t fall out. If you can’t get hold of these wood sheets, you can just use printed wood effect papers from the craft shop.
You will need:
-Cutting mat, craft knife, metal ruler and metal l-square
-Glue if using non-adhesive paper
How to make a wood bookmark:
1.We are going to cut two pieces of thin card, one which will be the base for your bookmark, the other we will use to make templates to ut out our wood. Cut the card about 0.5cm larger than your finished bookmark- this is to allow for any trimming that needs to occur to neaten up the edges! I cut my card 21cm x 5cm.
2.Working on a cutting mat, cut out the two pieces of card with a craft knife.
3.Now to make our pattern! I went freehand as usual and just drew lines to create geometric shapes that looked good, until I got a pattern I was happy with. If you feel better measuring to make something more accurate, go ahead, I won’t judge.
4.If you aren’t sure where to start, please feel free to print out mine to copy. You don’t want anything too fiddly to cut out, as it will make it harder to line up the wood sheet later one.
5.Traditional marquetry designs rely not only on different types of wood to create contrast, but on the angles of the grain. All wood will have a grain or pattern and by having these going in different directions, it creates contrast between the pieces making your design stand out. We are going to do the same thing, by looking at our individual shapes and making lines to indicate the direction. Notice that all the pieces next to one another have the the grain going in different directions!
6.Carefully cut out your shapes using your craft knife. I also put marks on the shapes that I wanted to cut out of my darker wood, so I wouldn’t forget!
7.Use the shapes to transfer the design onto the second piece of thin card. This will act as a guide when we come to stick the wood sheet on.
8.Now use your templates to first draw the shapes onto the wood, lightly in pencil, then carefully cut out with your craft knife.
9.Repeat this to cut out all the shapes.
10.Before starting to stick the wood shapes down onto the thin card, I would recommend lining them up next to each other to make sure they match neatly. I didn’t do this for the first few shapes, and there are tiny gaps! Ah well.
11.Starting at one end, begin to peel the backing off your wood (or apply a suitable glue if using paper) and stick down. Now the outer edges might not line up perfectly; thats ok, we can trim the edges slightly if needed afterwards. The main thing is to make sure the individual shapes sit neatly next to one another.
12.So you can see that the edges do need a bit of tidying up. The best thing to do is to grab a square rule (I love my X-Cut one!) to ensure it remains straight, and draw a light pencil line around the edge where you need to remove material.
13.I removed less than 0.5cm from the outside edge, but it really makes the bookmark look much neater.
14.Cut a single piece of wood sheet to cover the back; make it slightly larger, then cut off any excess.
15.And we are done! Don’t let the use of a craft knife put you off this project. I am pretty bad at cutting things out accurately, and you will more than likely never see an intricate paper-cutting DIY on here. So if I can manage it, so can you! Just go slowly, make sure the knife blade is sharp so it cuts neatly and check the shapes fit nicely BEFORE sticking them down! Unlike me, ha!
If you have a go at making your own Wood Bookmark, or have any questions feel free to comment below or message me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! And if you really like my tutorials, I’d love for you to sign up to my monthly email! Happy Making!
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